Fri, 08 Dec 2023

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], September 29 (ANI): New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson will miss the opening match of his team in the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 against England as he continues to recover from knee surgery, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) announced the batter's availability update on Friday.

Williamson was named in Blackcap's 15-member squad for the World Cup after returning from a six-month layoff. The New Zealand skipper will play the role of specialist batter in a warm-up match against Pakistan on Friday in Hyderabad with the aim of batting and fielding in their second and last warm-up against South Africa in Trivandrum on Monday.

"Williamson will play as a batsman-only in today's first warm-up match against Pakistan in Hyderabad, with the aim of batting and fielding in Monday's second and final warm-up against South Africa in Trivandrum," NZC said in an official statement.

New Zealand coach Gary Stead said making sure Williamson had enough time to progress in his return to match fitness was their top concern.

"Right from the start we've taken a long-term view on Kane's return to play. His recovery is tracking well and it's now a matter of making sure he can cope with the rigours and intensity of international cricket. We'll continue to take a day-by-day approach to Kane's rehabilitation and certainly won't be putting any pressure on him to return before he is ready," Stead stated in an official statement by NZC.

Meanwhile, Tom Latham will captain the side in Friday's first warm-up match against Pakistan in Hyderabad.

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee and Will Young. (ANI)

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